I grew up in the mountains. I love a good view. It is a great way to get your lay of the land, but to also see a completely different angle of where you are. As I sat on the incredible rooftop of Villas Esthella scanning the rooftops of Antigua, I spotted in the distance, a big cross up on the hill. The very helpful lady from Ottawa, working the reception, gave me the very simple directions to get there and mentioned it was a terrific viewpoint. I was sold. I wrapped up my last bit of morning work, slurped down the last cold drop of my coffee, grabbed my camera and headed out.
Basically, from Villas Esthella, you pretty much hook a left out the little alley way, and follow that the whole way up the cobble stone road. You will start to slant upwards and see the road fade right, with a dirt path continuing on. There will be a big wooden sign at the entrance and the steps lead you instantly out of Antigua, into the forest with the encompassing smell of eucalyptus or something refreshing in the air. A short, very easy walk leads you up to the viewpoint that opens up to give you, and the massive cross, an incredible view of Antigua.
Towering over Antigua, as if protecting it, is one the volcanoes, that seems to always have a ring of smoke sitting perfectly around the top, resembling almost perfectly, the volcano in the N64 video game, Zelda Ocarina of Time. If you know the game, you know the volcano.
From here, Antigua really lives up to its name. Meaning ‘ancient’ in Spanish, this angle does not let you view the busy streets, and the streets at the bottom of the hill very rarely had passing cars so the tranquility and the ancient buildings give an appearance of a town, hundreds of years ago, as you can imagine it once was. At the top, you can buy little trinkets, souvenirs, incense, bracelets and other knick-knacks, and strike up a conversation with anyone enjoying the view, as I did with an extremely friendly gentleman from Argentina.
Travellers Tip: Do not go up after dark, you will get robbed.
You will undoubtedly take photos at the top, so do not forget your camera, however, no matter the filter, no matter the angle, the lighting or how many pictures you take, it simply will not capture the feel the view gives you, however, its worth a shot. Literally.